Oklahoma City media truck allegedly tailgates storm chaser

Apr 21, 2022
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According to a tweet posted by storm chaser Brett Roberts, an Oklahoma City (OKC) media truck tailgated the chaser for 10 miles. You can read the tweet Roberts posted here.

Really interested to hear your thoughts!?


 
Jan 7, 2006
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Just to expand on this, since the Twitter format is surgically designed to make nuance impossible:

This happened at 11pm on two-lane state highways in Roger Mills Co., way after the Panhandle storms were done and everyone was heading home. I first noticed really bright lights approaching quickly in my mirror while headed eastbound toward Roll on SH33, and I wondered if it might be a cop or emergency vehicle. They rode my bumper a bit for a couple minutes, then backed off as we approached the intersection with US-283, where I turned southbound and they just sat at the intersection. A minute later, they came flying back up behind me, then proceeded to ride me very close (I would say less than half a vehicle length at times -- at night, at 70 mph, with blinding lights in my face) for probably 4-6 more miles. There were at least a couple completely open opportunities to pass on dashed yellow with good visibility and no oncoming traffic, but they just wouldn't do it (also, re: Warren's post, there were no obvious places to pull over on this stretch). At one point I rolled down my window and waved for them to go around... but they just backed off for 10 seconds, then started again.

Until they finally flew around me and I saw "STORMTRACKER 9" on the truck, I was legitimately concerned that whoever was behind me had malicious intent and wanted trouble. I'm generally *not* a big stickler, and 80% of the time, my view is that the social media weather/chasing world is jonesing for outrage fodder over any minor infractions they can scrounge up. But in this case, the behavior was so egregious and needlessly stupid that it really set me off.

After 15+ years chasing out of OK, my opinion of TV/media-affiliated chasers really couldn't be any lower. I know I'm painting with a broad brush and they're not all bad, but... man, quite a few are really bad. I could theoretically start a crusade against this particular station, but honestly, it's in keeping with much of what I've witnessed on numerous chase days when I encounter local OKC media (and I've seen as bad or worse from their competitor stations, even if I wasn't as directly involved as what happened last night). I've also had some extremely unfortunate encounters with TWC vehicles in the past... which, again, is in keeping with multiple high-profile incidents we're all aware of here. Overall, I maintain that TV chasers tend toward being an extremely entitled bunch, often pretending like they're in emergency vehicles and that they have the license (if not imperative) to completely disregard anyone else on the road. I think we recreational chasers get a bad rap, and it's really only the worst 10-20% among us consistently causing problems on the road, but the situation with media-affiliated vehicles is far bleaker.
 

Warren Faidley

Supporter
May 7, 2006
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Sounds to me like they had an axe to grind with someone. They would have passed if they were in a hurry. Glad it did not result in some type of accident. All it takes is for a deer to run out in front of you and...... Too bad you did not have footage to share with the station. Unfortunately, road rage is quite common. I'd still contact the station.
 

Drew Terril

Staff member
I'm 100% with Warren on this. Both on his assessment and on his recommendation to still contact the station. As someone who drives for a living (more regional these days but still OTR), I've seen too many of those incidences turn bad, either via something unexpected like a deer (to use Warren's scenario) or via something intentional like what I saw on my way in tonight where someone actually door slammed a vehicle beside them.
 
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Oct 31, 2013
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Not accusing him, but a big truck with Stormtracker 9 sounds like Val could be a possibility. He tends to drive pretty aggressive at times. He also upgraded the truck with bright headlights and other bright lights to see better at night.
 

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Reactions: Todd Lemery
Jan 7, 2006
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Yeah, the station definitely has multiple trucks. Gun to my head, if I had to guess the individual behind this incident, it would be the name offered above... but I don't have proof, didn't get video, and don't really feel strongly enough to turn this into a big crusade. If this were unusual behavior for media and I thought it would shock anyone back at the station, I might feel differently.

Also, just to address comments about this being road rage or some type of "payback:" I really doubt that's the case, even though the way they were riding me makes it sound that way. I hadn't seen them all day prior to this, I was already going over the limit when they approached, and I did nothing to discourage or prevent them from passing. This, combined with the fact that they sat at the intersection screwing around for a while before racing up on me again, makes me suspect they were just very distracted -- and that riding bumpers like this is their default mode, distracted or not. To give the most ridiculous benefit of the doubt, maybe they were just anticipating a passing opportunity and wanted to be ready. But man... I'm not the most patient driver, but I would never get up on someone's bumper at night in the pitch black doing 70+ like this, nevermind doing it continuously for several miles.
 
Apr 21, 2022
17
6
1
United Kingdom
Just to expand on this, since the Twitter format is surgically designed to make nuance impossible:

This happened at 11pm on two-lane state highways in Roger Mills Co., way after the Panhandle storms were done and everyone was heading home. I first noticed really bright lights approaching quickly in my mirror while headed eastbound toward Roll on SH33, and I wondered if it might be a cop or emergency vehicle. They rode my bumper a bit for a couple minutes, then backed off as we approached the intersection with US-283, where I turned southbound and they just sat at the intersection. A minute later, they came flying back up behind me, then proceeded to ride me very close (I would say less than half a vehicle length at times -- at night, at 70 mph, with blinding lights in my face) for probably 4-6 more miles. There were at least a couple completely open opportunities to pass on dashed yellow with good visibility and no oncoming traffic, but they just wouldn't do it (also, re: Warren's post, there were no obvious places to pull over on this stretch). At one point I rolled down my window and waved for them to go around... but they just backed off for 10 seconds, then started again.

Until they finally flew around me and I saw "STORMTRACKER 9" on the truck, I was legitimately concerned that whoever was behind me had malicious intent and wanted trouble. I'm generally *not* a big stickler, and 80% of the time, my view is that the social media weather/chasing world is jonesing for outrage fodder over any minor infractions they can scrounge up. But in this case, the behavior was so egregious and needlessly stupid that it really set me off.

After 15+ years chasing out of OK, my opinion of TV/media-affiliated chasers really couldn't be any lower. I know I'm painting with a broad brush and they're not all bad, but... man, quite a few are really bad. I could theoretically start a crusade against this particular station, but honestly, it's in keeping with much of what I've witnessed on numerous chase days when I encounter local OKC media (and I've seen as bad or worse from their competitor stations, even if I wasn't as directly involved as what happened last night). I've also had some extremely unfortunate encounters with TWC vehicles in the past... which, again, is in keeping with multiple high-profile incidents we're all aware of here. Overall, I maintain that TV chasers tend toward being an extremely entitled bunch, often pretending like they're in emergency vehicles and that they have the license (if not imperative) to completely disregard anyone else on the road. I think we recreational chasers get a bad rap, and it's really only the worst 10-20% among us consistently causing problems on the road, but the situation with media-affiliated vehicles is far bleaker.
Hi Brett, do you mind if I can add this to the article to update it?